An Iranian patrol boat fired shots across the bow of a cargo vessel flagged to the Marshall Islands after it refused an order to proceed deeper into Iran's territorial water, earlier today.
The M/V Maersk Tigris was sailing through the Strait of Hormuz and into the Persian Gulf when the Iranians confronted it . It's not clear whether the cargo ship somehow strayed into Iran's waters at the time of the incident, but the Maersk Tigris was able to get off a distress call to the US Naval Forces Central Command before obeying the Iranian command, Military.com reports.
Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren confirmed the run in happened at roughly 5:00 AM on America's east coast, that the cargo ship has been boarded, and is currently sitting off Larak Island, near the coast of Iran, Defense News reports. Col. Warren also confirmed that the USS Farragut, the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer shown above, was dispatched to the Maersk Tigris' last location in international waters to monitor the situation.
According to DN and a State Department fact sheet, the US has "full authority and responsibility for security and defense" of the Marshall Islands, which it surrendered ownership of in 1986, which explains the quick US involvement in the situation. According to Politico, the Farragut's helicopters will likely be employed to observe the situation.
No Americans were on board the cargo vessel, although this latest incident isn't going to help the already tense relations between the United States and Iran. The US Navy made headlines last week after dispatching the USS Theodore Roosevelt to shadow a convoy of Iranian ships allegedly transporting weapons to Yemeni rebels.